Ancient Monuments

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Hermit Dam moated site

A Scheduled Monument in Lea, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.3744 / 53°22'27"N

Longitude: -0.7345 / 0°44'4"W

OS Eastings: 484291.697544

OS Northings: 387139.279864

OS Grid: SK842871

Mapcode National: GBR RY9F.S2

Mapcode Global: WHFG5.PFGZ

Entry Name: Hermit Dam moated site

Scheduled Date: 16 January 1970

Last Amended: 7 August 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016110

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29894

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Lea

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Lea St Helen

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a moated site located at the bottom of a natural basin
to the north east of Hermit Dam Wood. The site has been identified as the
manorial residence of the Trehampton and de Braose lords of Lea who held the
manor from the 12th to the 14th century.

The moated site takes the form of a roughly square platform surrounded on all
sides by a dry moat approximately 10m wide and 3m at its deepest. The island
measures 90m east-west and 95m north-south and includes a slightly raised
platform which has been largely levelled at its centre. The remains of the
manor house and associated outbuildings are believed to survive as buried
features on the interior of the moated enclosure. An external bank surrounds
the moat and is most clearly visible on the eastern edge where it stands to a
height of approximately 1.5m. To the north the bank is set back slightly from
the ditch and exists as a broad spread 0.25m high. To the west the modern
trackway leading to Priory Farm lies directly over the outer bank. To the
south it has been badly degraded through ploughing. A causeway in the north
east corner, measuring approximately 8m wide, provides access to the platform.

The manor of Lea was held by the Trehampton family from the 12th to the 14th
century, and possibly from the Norman Conquest. In 1322 John de Trehampton
forfeited the manor and it was granted to William de Aune, the king's
constable of Tickhill Castle. It was returned to the family by Edward III,
when it was inhabited by John de Braose, the husband of John de Trehampton's
sister. In 1330 John de Braose received license to crenellate the manor. It is
unlikely that it was used as a principal residence beyond the 14th century.

The modern fencing and trackway surfacing is excluded from the scheduling,
although the ground beneath is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Around 6,000 moated sites are known in England. They consist of wide ditches,
often or seasonally water-filled, partly or completely enclosing one or more
islands of dry ground on which stood domestic or religious buildings. In some
cases the islands were used for horticulture. The majority of moated sites
served as prestigious aristocratic and seigneurial residences with the
provision of a moat intended as a status symbol rather than a practical
military defence. The peak period during which moated sites were built was
between about 1250 and 1350 and by far the greatest concentration lies in
central and eastern parts of England. However, moated sites were built
throughout the medieval period, are widely scattered throughout England and
exhibit a high level of diversity in their forms and sizes. They form a
significant class of medieval monument and are important for the understanding
of the distribution of wealth and status in the countryside. Many examples
provide conditions favourable to the survival of organic remains.

Hermit Dam moated site survives particularly well as a series of substantial
earthworks and buried features, with a good diversity of surviving components.
The moat, external bank and causeway are clearly defined and the platform will
retain evidence for the building which originally occupied the island. As a
result of the study of surviving documents the history of this site is quite
well understood.

Source: Historic England


Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Description - Moats, (1988)
RCHM(E), Everson, P L and Taylor C C and Dunn, C J, Change And Continuity: Rural Settlement in North-West Lincolnshire, (1991)

Source: Historic England

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